Mercedes-Benz USA’s marketing chief Bernhard Glaser will be the vice president and managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans USA effective January 1, 2014. Replacing him as new marketing chief is Drew Slaven, currently general manager for marketing services. In his new role, Glaser will be responsible for all van operations, including sales, marketing, service and parts for the Sprinter brand.
The role was created as part of Daimler AG's new "Customer Dedication" initiative, which entails realigning its business divisions. The German carmaker created individual reporting structures for Mercedes-Benz Cars, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Trucks divisions.
According to Mercedes-Benz USA chief executive Steve Cannon, no other changes are expected in the US divisions due to the restructuring. He remarked that the carmaker is investing in resources to take advantage of the growth opportunity for Sprinter vans in the US. Cannon remarked that Glaser was promoted because "he is part of our executive team and he is a known quantity with the dealers."
Cannon added that Glaser has the right skill sets to run and grow the expanding Sprinter business in the US, citing his experience in marketing, pricing and planning product volume.
Mercedes started selling Sprinter vans in the US in 2001 through Freightliner. In 2003, when Daimler owned Chrysler Group, the Sprinter was badged as a Dodge and sold by the US brand's dealers. In 2010, Mercedes got Sprinter from Dodge and started granting the franchise to its own dealers. Mercedes sold 20,929 Sprinter vans in 2012. [source: Daimler]